Gerard Barrett and Joe Mullins will take part in a Q&A following the 18.30 screening on April 12th as part of Spotlight: New Irish Film at the IFI.
The evocatively named Pilgrim Hill – the feature debut from 24-year-old Gerard Barrett – imparts a compassionate view of withdrawn bachelor farmer Jimmy Walsh as he is confronted with a set of crises, all of which are beyond his control.
Our understanding of Jimmy is informed as much by his awkward interactions with others as by a number of documentary style sequences in which he speaks directly to camera, offering insight to an inherited sense of isolation, his own failed relationships and the hostile presence of an ailing father.
In this way – and with the help of a striking central performance from Joe Mullins – Barrett composes a complex, tender portrait of vulnerability which, inspired as much by neorealism as by Irish films like Lenny Abrahamson’s Garage, draws on the harsh reality of rural life, particularly within the context of a modern, often indifferent world. Winning several awards since its premiere last year, this film is nothing short of a triumph for its young director. (Notes by Alice Butler.)